Thursday, November 30, 2006

Changing the World

The folks at Worldchanging have just released the book of ideas from their blog.
Worldchanging was founded on the idea that real solutions already exist for building the future we want. it's just a matter of grabbing hold and getting moving.
A recent blog article revisits the Developing Nations License, one of the Creative Commons licenses.

In this context, TED has just announced the first TEDGlobal Conference in Africa that will be held in Tanzania in June 2007.

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Collective Intelligent Wisdom of Crowds

Nate Combs of TERRA NOVA points to several opinions on the wisdom of crowds and collective intelligence. One nice distinction, by Henry Jenkins:
The Wisdom of Crowds model focuses on isolated inputs: the Collective Intelligence model focuses on the process of knowledge production. The gradual refinement of the Wikipedia would be an example of collective intelligence at work.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Crowdspirit just launched an electronic product development site:
Today [November 29] sees the launch of the first public beta of the CrowdSpirit site, an international venture based in Scotland (Edinburgh) and France (Paris and Grenoble), which couples the power of crowds and the collaboration of Web 2.0 to reinvent the supply chain and product development cycle.
Their Business Model, and Your Contribution to the enterprise.

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BGN Entrepreneur's Minute, Nov 29, 2006

(About one minute)

Talking with Wendy Brown, founder of the new Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Charlottesville.
The next CNE Brown Bag luncheon, "The Care and Feeding of Volunteers" will be held on December 7, at Live Arts.

The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute is made possible by the generous support of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Custom Magazine

Entrepreneur Andrew Davies' Idiomag is now in beta, with a full launch planned for early 2007. This custom magazine allows readers to rank areas of interest, which then produces a neat online magazine.
Idio is a personalized digital magazine that matches quality content and advertising with the interests of the individual. This is achieved through a unique system of weighted tagging which intelligently adapts to readers' interests as they rate the appeal of the content they view.

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Guy and the GNOTE

According to Guy Kawasaki, a new Silicon Valley organization has just been created, the Global Network of Technology Evangelists (GNOTE). Their first conference will be held on Dec 4.

Kawasaki's recent interview with the Woz is here.
Among his reasons to love the Woz: His design theory is, “Create what you want to use” and He believes that your work/writing/code/design—whatever kind of output—is a personal reflection of your being and a window into your soul.

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FT on SL

The Financial Times finally weighed in n Second Life just before Thanksgiving, with a thorough description of the old (Kurt Vonnegut, veteran rockers Duran Duran, Mark Warner) and the new (talent scouts, marketing firms like Crayon, recruiters, Reuters) on SL.
There is no doubt that Second Life is the new, new thing.... Toyota is selling virtual cars; IBM, which has plans for its own 3-D intranet, has paid one of its software engineers to hang out there and ad agency Leo Burnett is building an “Ideas Hub” where its global staff can meet and interact. In October, Sun Microsystems even hosted a “virtual news conference” in Second Life to flag up its new gaming strategy.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Word of Mouth Marketing

According to the NY Times, the Charlottesville-based Boldmouth, a word-of-mouth marketing agency, recently partnered with the software company, BuzzLogic, to create a product that will help companies monitor what people say about them on Internet. Founder Todd Tweedy, a experienced online marketer, established BoldMouth in 2005. Their recent WOM marketing research report is available to download.

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Art on SL

The main building of the Henry Adams House, an art gallery on Second Life, was designed by Rem Koolhaas. The gallery, sponsored by Walter Idlewild, maintains a collection of SL art.
Sasun Steinbeck is the creator of a new style of interactive art in SL, Morphing Sculpture, which changes shape, texture, sound and rotation speed when touched.
(See SL screen shots, below. )

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Advertising and Blogs

The toy merchant, since 1862, is now advertising on Pajamas Media.
Sample of Pajama Media story headlines from November 26, when the ad below was seen.

Just in time for Thanksgiving Weekend - The Pajamas Media Shopper!
The Big Story: Easy Prey in Paris -- "A jackpot, a Black and a Jew."
Antarctica: I'm at the "end of the world"... and I feel fine
Street Battles Between Mexican Police and APPO Rioters in Oaxaca, Mexico

Stay of Deportation -- EU Court Orders Russia to Halt Kamalfar Extradition
It's Now Her Cross to Bear - and Wear
The Serial Murderers of Syria -- Victor Davis Hanson
He's Spinning as Fast As He Can (Michael Richards)
To Be Gay Under the Mullahs (podcast)
The Breathtaking Photographs of Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Life of the London Tube these days in not for the faint of heart
Organic Machinery (combinatorial walking insects)
The Biggest (?) Online Digital Picture in the World
Rewind Hundreds of DVDs an Hour
Freeranger Central: The x-factor in American politics
Iraq, Civil War, Gang War or Just Muslims Having It Out Once Again?
We Regret to Inform You That Your Sushi May Have Been Radioactive
Like Nelson Rockefeller, He Died as He Lived (H. Donald Wilson, founder of LexisNexis)
Pitt/Jolie: 'We'll see your African kid and raise you a pair of Vietnamese twins'

BTW, Pajama Media is also responsible for crowd-sourcing a new name, Freerangers, for bloggers who are "uncomfortable with the conventional left-right, liberal-conservative dichotomized pigeonholes of the mainstream".

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

T-Shirt Design Contest

Threadless has a new T-shirt design contest, now through January 1, 2007. The 5 winning designers will receive $5,000, a gift certificate, and a year's membership. According to Tim O'Reilly,
One of the recurring themes on the O'Reilly Radar is that of "news from the future," the idea that, as William Gibson put it, "The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed yet." We look for events and people that give us signals about what is to come. I've recently been thinking a lot about in this vein, and working them into my talks about Web 2.0 as a stunning extension of the principle of "harnessing collective intelligence" into the design of physical goods.

If you're not familiar with it, might be described as a digg for t-shirt designs. Users submit ideas for t-shirts, which other users vote up, till the most popular are manufactured and sold. The site would be cool enough just as a social networking site. ... But think about it for a moment: This is a "crowd-sourced" manufacturing business.
... to my knowledge, threadless is the first to have put all the pieces together.
How far off is a future in which the creative economy overflows the thin boundary that separates "information" from "stuff"?
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Fabjectory at NMC Conference

Remember our October post about Fabjectory?
They are creators of virtual objects built in real life.

One of their objects (below) was displayed by Pathfinder Linden of Second Life at the New Media Consortium conference in San Antonio in early November.
(Photo from Fabjectory)

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Friday, November 24, 2006

New Charlottesville Podcasts

From Charlottesville Podcasting, hear Andrea Alms, of Spinner Technologies and Bob MacWright of the UVA Patent Foundation talk with Coy Barefoot about intellectual property being developed at the University.

Last week, Adhithi Padmanabha was interviewed about the Innovation Challenge finals at the Darden School.

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Panel Discussions - Online

Guy Kawasaki notes that with online video, the audience for a panel discussion may turn out to be thousands of people around the world, rather than the few hundred people in the room. His advice:
Online audiences of this magnitude impacts every panel in several ways:

The size of the audience at the event is not nearly as important as whether it will be recorded and publicized. With the online video, there’s no such thing as a small audience anymore.

No matter how small the physical audience and obscure the event, you’d better be on your toes and give a great performance because tens of thousands of people might see it. With online video, there’s no such thing as a “small slip up.”

Best case: look at both the audience and the camera. Whatever you do, don’t look at only the moderator unless you want 20,000 people to only see the side of your face.Technorati Tags: ,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

VCU at the Innovation Challenge

One of the VCU teams at the Innovation challenge, who provided the event podcast.

Elizabeth Gershman, Sruti Dhulipala, Nien Liu, Rodrigo de Lima, Marcus Brown.

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First and Second Worlds

Sun's recent announcement that it would be releasing Java under the GNU GPL included a developer Q &A exclusively on SL.
"There was a watershed event earlier this week that, if it develops into a trend, will force many IT folks to learn how to conduct meetings and get information in virtual spaces." Ian Lamont continues, "There is no way any developer, CIO, or reporter could be reasonably expected to attend Sun's virtual Q&A unless they invested a few hours beforehand getting up to speed on the interface."
In that context, here's what Doc Searles has to say on ideas, and intellectual property.
He begins "Ideas aren't physical. Regardless of the legalities, treating ideas as possessions insults their vast combustive power." He also points back to his May, 2000 article. "It [the Net] was built like an Amish barn by hackers who made it because they needed it, ... The result was a second world — one made with code rather than matter — that embodied and expressed the long-overlooked virtues of the first"

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

BGN Entrepreneur's Minute, Nov 18, 2006

(about two minutes, please set volume low)

Talking with members of the VCU Adcenter Team 2, contestants in the Innovation Challenge competition held at the Darden School of Business November 17 and 18, 2006.
Team Members: Sruti Dhulipala, Elizabeth Gershman, Nien Liu, Rodrigo de Lima, Marcus Brown.

The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute is made possible by the generous support of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

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Innovation Challenge Winners

The winner of the $20,000 Innovation Challenge was McGill University's team: Stavros Tsokonas, Luc Tran, Heather Powers, Kanhaiya Sinha and Jonathan Powers.
The second place winner was the University of North Carolina team: Kapil Pundir, Phaedra Boinodiris, Hiro Onome, Sara Sparks and Danvers Fleury. Third place went to an MIT team: Susan Kogol, Melissa King, Kristen Oldenburger, and Viara Nedeva.

Congratulations to all the teams who presented unique and innovative solutions to business problems posed by Daimler Chrysler and Hilton Hotels.

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Future of Innovation

The Task Force on the Future of American Innovation has released their report, Measuring the Moment: Innovation, National Security and Economic Competitiveness.
The report provides benchmarks for areas important to innovation and economic competitiveness including education, workforce, patents and publication of scientific papers, and research investment. The innovation task force is a coalition of industry, scientific societies, and higher education associations.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

VCU Finalists in Innovation Challenge

The final stage of the Innovation Challenge will be held today and tomorrow at the Darden School of Business.

Good luck to all the teams, especially our local teams from the Virginia Commonwealth University AdCenter!

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Yi-Tan Open Phone Invite

Paul Kedrosky points to Monday's Yi-Tan conference on open phones [November 20 at 10:30 AM, PDT].
For background information, see Matthew Hamrick's article at O'Reilly Telephony and the SV Homebrew Mobile Phone Club.

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Advice to companies considering SL

Ian Schafer of Deep Focus, writes at Clickz Network "As I write this [November 17, 2006], there are just over 1.4 million residents* in Second Life, with over $704,000 spent in the last 24 hours. Though the number of users isn't going to bowl anyone over, the spending should."
His advice to companies considering SL includes:
Spend time in Second Life first. The concept of Second Life isn't difficult to grasp, but living in it is.
Give back to the community. Determine how your [company's] entry will actually benefit the Second Life community.
Work with the right partners. Odds are, your existing interactive agency doesn't know much about building property, coding actions, designing clothes, and vending in Second Life. Make sure it's working with someone who's been at it for years.
This directory includes nearly 50 reputable Second Life developers. And there's always oDesk.

* projected to be 2 million residents by year-end

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Krag's Genealogy on SL

In September, Irving Wladawsky-Berger of IBM blogged about Transforming Business through Virtual Worlds Capabilities - it's Déjà Vu All Over Again, saying that
For awhile now, I have felt that one of the most exciting areas of innovation is to recast our interactions with computer applications in terms of the humans that use them rather than the machines and software that run them. In particular, since our brains are basically wired for sight and sound, it is not surprising that the more visual an application, the more intuitive and human oriented it is likely to feel.
So, here we are in 2006, once more facing a set of fledgling technologies and capabilities -- massively multiplayer online games and virtual worlds – that are already being used by many millions out there
I was skeptical then. No longer.

Last night, Krag Mariner (SL name), president of Heritage Books in Maryland, spoke in Second Life on the use of Civil War military records. Not about searching the web for snippets of family history, but about how to read 100+ year old paper documents in the National Archives, and how these records came to be created in the last half of the 19th century. In many ways, the venue was better than real life for this presentation.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Innovation Forum

Fortune's Innovation Forum will be held in New York City on November 29 and 30, 2006.
At the third annual FORTUNE Innovation Forum, we'll bring some of the world's leading experts and practitioners together in a dynamic, multifaceted setting to inspire and motivate leaders of innovation to deliver long-term value and competitive advantage to their organizations.
The Innovators Studio will be presented by Richmond-based Play.

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Patents and Startups

Guy Kawasaki and friends on patents, and their relevance to tech startups. More detail on the eBay/MercExchange decision at LawPundit.
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Fortune on Second Life

From David (Liveoak) Kirkpatrick of Fortune on Second Life:

It has been on the cover of Business Week, on the front page of the New York Times Escapes section and in the coverage of Reuters, which has now assigned a reporter to operate full-time inside Second Life. The Reuters reporter, Adam Pasnick, told CNET that his assignment has caused so many waves he's been getting interview requests from Poland, Colombia, Brazil and New Zealand.

W Hotels has built a prototype of its new Aloft hotel brand inside Second Life. It was featured in the Times, among many other articles. W President Ross Klein told me that while the company originally just wanted to test out concepts, the PR value from all the stories written about Aloft in Second Life has given the company a "hundred-fold" return on its investment, just in positive PR. Even IBM (Charts) CEO Sam Palmisano can now be seen lurking around Second Life.

One of the more intriguing aspects of Second Life is that it includes links to content outside.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Web 3.0?

Web 3.0 is arriving, according to Peter Rip. Here's Paul Kedrosky's Web 2.0 short-sellers' list. O'Reilly Radar has a relevant piece on harnessing collective intelligence.
Robert Scobie at Techmeme wraps it up with:
... I take a few days off of blogging and the New York Times (er, John Markoff) goes and invents Web 3.0. — Huh? ... Well, I was talking with several Web leaders tonight (seriously, I was) and we decided that Web 3.0 just won’t do.
So, tonight [November 12], we’re announcing Web 2007.
Greg Linden summarizes the NY Times article.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Crowd

The 9th Annual Business Forum (composite)

CVG Annual Business Forum Podcasts

Several folks shared their thoughts on the CVG 9th Annual Business Forum as it was taking place on November 9 and 10th at the UVA Darden School of Business in Charlottesville.

(About 2 minutes)
Sherwood Bowditch, of the Robins School of Business, on the Entrepreneur's Boot Camp presented by the Hutchinson Law Group.

(About 2 minutes)
Sherwood Bowditch, on the afternoon panel discussions of collaboration behind the development of a business plan and networking in starting a new business.

(About a minute)
Entrepreneur Bob Amacher, founder of Four Walls Media, on what he is looking for in the Annual Business Forum.

(About a minute)
Collaborative strategies panelist Mark Wasilko, of AES Corporation.

(About a Minute)
Clinton Showalter, of Beyond Silver, on capturing images of the 9th Annual CVG Business Forum.

(about two minutes)
Entrepreneur Mason Gates, President of InternDirect, on his recent expansion and his engagement with this community of entrepreneurs.

This special edition of The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute is made possible by the generous support of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge has announced the ten finalist teams, which includes two VCU Adcenter teams who will compete at Darden Nov 17.
Team members are

For Team Number 1410 (Hilton Hotels):
Elizabeth Gershman
Sruti Dhulipala
Nien Liu
Marcus Brown
Rodrigo De Lima

For Team Number 1322 (Whirlpool):
Dele Oni
E.B. Davis III
Luis Carranza
Alexis Bass
Zoe Bell

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Microloans expand online

Remember the online, auction based small loan program, Prosper? Here's the new non-profit version of online microloans, Kiva. While the Gameen Bank works in Bangladesh, Kiva focuses at the moment on South and Central America and western Africa.
Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified borrowers. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through, our partners upload their borrower profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them.
Thanks to Anthony Cerminaro of BizzBangBuzz for noting this new venture.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What's the Web Coming to?

From C/Net News on Nov 2:
Representatives from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southampton in the U.K. announced the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), a multidisciplinary project to study the social and technological implications of growing Web adoption. The WSRI already has financial backing from Google and IBM to establish a research center that will sponsor Ph.D. students and ultimately create undergraduate curricula in Web science.

Thanks to Bokardo and to Read/WriteWeb
Web science will have both social and engineering dimensions. As the NY Times reported, it will include the emerging research in social networks and the social sciences that is being used to study how people behave on the Web. For example trust and privacy are two specific areas that can be studied more. Also Web Science will look at more technical areas, such as how huge decentralized Web systems work. ... researching the economic consequences of the Web (and "web 2" was mentioned) is part of the agenda too.

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Monday, November 06, 2006


According to Wired News, Gannett, the publisher of USA Today as well as 90 other American daily newspapers, will begin crowdsourcing many of its newsgathering functions starting Friday, November 3.
"Crowdsourcing" is a term coined by Wired magazine writer Jeff Howe and editor Mark Robinson in June 2006. It describes a business model akin to outsourcing, but relying sometimes upon unpaid or low-paid amateurs who use their spare time to create content, solve problems, or even do corporate R&D. Other times is based over the set of ideas and abilities than only can be found in a crowd.
Crowds targeted for crowdsourcing include garage scientists, amateur videographers, freelancers, photo enthusiasts, data companies, writers, smart mobs and the electronic herd.
Snippet from Wikipedia
Here are their Rules:

The Crowd is dispersed - they work remotely
The Crowd has a short attention span - they work in micro-chunks
The Crowd is full of specialists
The Crowd produces mostly crap (editor's note: Bear in mind that these rules were written by people who may be replaced by the crowd)
The Crowd finds the best stuff

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Young Entrepreneurs

Business Week magazine has a series of recent articles on young entrepreneurs.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tech Transfer at VCU

Virginia Commonwealth University earned $1.5 million in licensing revenue from products invented at the school, an increase of more than 50 percent from the prior fiscal year. "Even more exciting for us are the stories of entrepreneurship, where ideas born at VCU have taken on a life of their own in the commercial marketplace", said Ivelina Metcheva, director of the school's Office of Technology Transfer. They include Centrieva Corp., TraumaCure, and the SwiMP3 being produced by Finis, Inc..
Snippet from Jeffrey Kelly's recent article in the Richmond Times Dispatch

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Machinima Awards

The Machinima Festival, held at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City, was simulcast online -- inside Second Life and on the Destroy TV website.
The awards reel will be available at 11:30 and again at 2:00 today.
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Another New College in Virginia

On November 3, Founders College announced that it intends to purchase a 660-acre resort in South Boston, Va., providing first-class, customer-ready classroom, conference and campus facilities when the innovative, residential liberal arts and business school welcomes its first students in the fall of 2007.

Founders College Education Inc., is a for-profit company planning to construct a college along with a retirement community and other amenities. The founders are Dr. Gary Hull, Director of the Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace at Duke University, and Tamara K. Fuller, a highly successful entrepreneur with experience in executive consulting, banking, and real estate.

Founders College received degree-granting authority from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in September 2006.

The Founder's College Mission:
To revolutionize American higher education by providing independent thinkers with a liberal arts education like no other.
We believe that a superior college education should be an integrated, hierarchical whole, with content-rich courses that are logically designed to give you the ability to think critically and communicate effectively. We provide students a revolutionary, life-changing college experience that develops a lifelong love of learning and the vital skills needed to excel in any profession.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

TVF Companies to Watch!

Yesterday, the following Greater Richmond Companies to Watch were announced at Virginia Capital Day:

Adaptive Inc., a Chesterfield County company that makes software to manage, monitor and report on corporate governance.

AdvanceTEC, a Chesterfield builder of clean rooms and labs for nanotechnology, semiconductor, biotechnology and other high-tech trades.

Firstmark Corp., a Richmond-based firm that designs, manufactures and repairs components in the aerospace and defense industries.

Intrinergy, an Ashland provider of renewable energy to industrial customers. It converts recycled materials into a clean-burning gas that can be used to generate heat, steam and electricity.

PartnerMD, a Richmond firm that charges a higher fee than family practices but offers a higher level of individual attention from doctors.

Spec Ops Inc., an Ashland firm that provides equipment to rapidly set up tactical operations centers for military, defense and emergency groups.

Velocity Micro Inc., a Chesterfield company that makes and sells high-speed video-game computers.

Worth Home Products, a Henrico company that makes air vents for homes and quick-installing chic ceiling lamps.

Xymid LLC, a Midlothian company founded by former DuPont executives to make proprietary fibers and composites. Its fabrics are used in bedding and thermal protection.

Ion Healthcare, a Richmond company that uses Internet-based technology to manage apnea, the temporary breathing interruptions during sleep.

Old Dominion Security, a Richmond-based security firm founded in 1997 for small and large companies in Virginia and North Carolina.

SubMachine Corp., a Henrico County company that has created low-cost miniature pumps to cool components in computers and servers.

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Israel Life Science Road Show

The “Israel Life Science Road Show III” will at the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, on November 6th. According to Virginia officials, 15 Israeli companies are visiting the state because of Virginia's emerging strength in the biosciences arena. The event will highlight funding opportunities for both Virginia-based and Israel-based life science companies and will promote R&D projects between Israeli and U.S. companies.
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2007 Prizes Announced

The winners of the first The Purpose Prize were announced this past September by Civic Ventures. Three Virginians were among the Americans over 60 recognized for their creativity, talent and experience that is transforming the way our nation addresses critical social problems. Now nominations are being accepted for the 2007 Purpose Prize through February 1, 2007. The Purpose Prizes will be announced in September 2007.

The MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures has added a new prize, the
BreakThrough Award for innovative organizations that tap the passion and experience of people over 50 to improve society. The application deadline is February 1, 2007. The Breakthrough Awards will be announced in the spring of 2007

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

A New Approach to Investing?

Tom Evslin notes the new QuickStart Seed Funding program from Charles River Ventures at Fractals of Change "The QuickStart program solves two problems for entrepreneurs and at least one problem for VCs."

From A VC in NYC:
Josh Kopelman, a well known early stage investor who we have co-invested with successfully, has a good post up on CRV Quickstart. He points out some of the issues with larger funds doing seed investing. While Josh's points are good ones, I still think this program is a good thing for both CSV and entrepreneurs. Matt Marshall at VentureBeat also has his take on it.
And from Paul Kedrosky
It's nice that Charles River Ventures is getting some press for offering loans to early-stage companies, but this is more of a marketing exercise than a financial one. Most venture firms have been offering convertible notes for ages -- yes, sometimes even at the seed stage -- so forgive me if I don't get too worked up about CRV getting a little press for the practise.

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Creative Commons Video Fundraiser

From BoingBoing
Today [November 1, 2006], Creative Commons and Revver launched a brand new fundraising model: CC is the first nonprofit organization to raise money through online video sharing.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Obvious, from Odeo

On October 24, we noted the loss of Odeo's Audioblogger. Since then, Odeo has become Obvious, through entrepreneurship decisions that are still reverberating.

Timothy Post, of Flying Seeds
... Evan’s decision to “fold/buy” Odeo and create Obvious Corp (even the use of “corp” versus “LLC” is refreshing) is so startling. Mark your calendars with this date, October 26th, it might just be an inflection point in the current VC investment cycle.

David Galbraith
The sustainable model is not new, it is the way that almost all companies outside of the bubble-prone technology world work, however, sometimes the bleeding obvious is worth pointing out. Venture backing should be for the exception - for the exceptionally rapidly growing. The correct model for web 2.0 should be sustainable growth, its the Obvious Corp.

And Odeo investor, Josh Kopleman, at RedEyeVC
... Evan Williams announced the creation of a new company, Obvious Corporation, that purchased the assets of Odeo. As Evan wrote today in his blog, Odeo "was a humbling and highly educational experience." And he concluded that although there was real value in what the team created, the structural constraints/requirements of venture investors were not a good match for the company. So he did something that amazed and surprised me. He dug into his own pocket to return capital to his investors. 100% of our investment. Evan did not have to do this. His shareholders are sophisticated investors and we went into this with our eyes open. We know startups are risky. ... The reason I invested in Odeo in the first place was because I wanted to make a bet on Evan – and his recent actions have shown me how right I was.

Finally, Evan Williams himself, at EVhead
I believe there is a lot of value in what we've built—both Odeo and Twitter—but I did not believe the structure was going to lead to the kind of success we wanted.
The Obvious model goes something like this:
Build things cheaply and rapidly by keeping teams small and self-organized.
Leverage technology, know-how, and infrastructure across products (but brand them separately, so they're focused and easy to understand)
Use the aggregate attention and user base of the network to gain traction for new services faster than they could gain awareness independently
When justified by growth, resource needs, and desire of the team, we will spin off growing properties to form their own entities (with outside investment). ... But we're also not an incubator, with the goal of hatching companies from everything we build. Some things are perfectly worthwhile but don't need to be a company.

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